It’s unlikely you or I will live to see the full implications of the new world — a world of unprecedented peace and prosperity. Or maybe that’s too cynical.
A world where violence costs more than it gains and fear is no longer the great motivator — a world, perhaps, without war. A world where principles, and not the false, manipulative whims of the so-called “collective,” are the new kings and interactions are voluntary — a world, perhaps, without force.
A world where value is kept by those who create it — a world, perhaps, free to prosper how it wishes. A world where madness, psychosis and anxiety aren’t so prevalent our kids (and many of our adults, too) need fidget spinners and daily handfuls of psychotropics to make it through another day — a world, perhaps, with great purpose, meaning and inner peace.
A world with governance, to be sure, but without the corrupting ways of the State.
We are always free to dream about such a world. And, indeed, we should. Envisioning a future without the horrors of the past and present is the only thing that’s ever changed anything for the better.
Without vision, drastic change always seems impossible
In the days when the slave trade was an abhorrent part of daily life, there were a growing number of people, the abolitionists, who envisioned a world without slavery. In the days when women were openly and brazenly treated as lesser creatures by truly lesser knuckle-dragging creatures, there were a growing number of people who envisioned a world where women were treated as equals.
Detractors of the abolitionists and the early feminists would always suffer under similar ailments — including, but certainly not limited to, an astonishing lack of imagination.
“Point to me a society in history where there hasn’t been slavery,” they’d gloat, often as a weak attempt at justifying their disgraceful behavior. “You can’t. What makes you think ours can?”
“You point to me a society in history where women are equal to men,” they’d shout, often to justify their shameful positions. “You can’t! What makes you think ours will?”
As every good investor knows, one should invest for the future and not the past. And as every good historian knows, it only takes a small minority of individuals to move the needle in a different direction and set the whole of humanity on a new path.
Change happens slow, and then extremely fast
There’s a popular story that’s been largely and loudly discredited by its detractors, but serves as a worthy parable for our digital age. It’s known as the “hundredth monkey effect.”
In the 1950’s, the story goes, Japanese scientists were studying the behavior of macaque monkeys on the island of Koshima. One day, they observed a couple of monkeys spontaneously deciding to wash the dirt off of their sweet potatoes — something they’ve never been seen to do in the past.
Before long, other monkeys noticed these monkeys and their strange behavior, too. And, upon seeing the immediate benefit… less mouthfuls of dirt and worms… they, too, took their potatoes to the water’s edge alongside them.
More and more monkeys got on board until, at some point, a “critical mass” was reached and, seemingly overnight, all monkeys on Koshima washed their sweet potatoes in the water.
Strangely enough, though, this behavior didn’t stick to Koshima. Scientists on other islands began reporting the same spontaneous behavior being exhibited by the macaques. As far as they could tell, all macaques on earth were now washing their food as if they’d done it all their lives. And all of them were instantly better off — eating was more enjoyable and their main food sources were healthier.
This “network effect” of beneficial behavior is entirely possible in the digital age — and can spread just as quickly.
Technology as a catalyst
Social media might, indeed, as some critics suggest, be a celebration of narcissism, exhibitionism and voyeurism — a place filled with self-indulgent micro-celebrities. A place where each “star” can be his own writer, director, paparazzi and Sun for the Earth to revolve around.
(The telescope, they say, brought us closer to enlightenment, with its shocking realization we are certainly not the center of the universe. Unable to psychologically “go all the way,” though, our technological drive since has been to reassert ourselves as supernovic centers of our own worlds. And, they say, humanity has succeeded beneath all shallow expectations.)
Or maybe that’s too cynical. Maybe there are infinite depths to be observed both “out there” and within in our psyches and our souls. And we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of either with our newfangled technological tools.
Whatever the case, the silver lining is these networks can be used as vast catalysts for change, where new and beneficial behaviors are noticed by the few and then adopted by the many. Where monkeys all over the world may start spontaneously washing their own sweet potatoes without warning.
To see what that might look like in the context of individual liberty, we invite Beautyon of Bitcoin Think to describe his vision of a future Super Cell London — a voluntarist engine which washes clean those “sclerotic and unnatural systems of control” and ushers in an age of unprecedented peace and prosperity.
It’s a hypothetical. One with a bleak beginning and a bright future. But this future has to begin somewhere and the present-day horrors it will force into obsolescence have to end somewhere else. It’s a future we’ll maybe even get to see the early beginnings of.
(Hey, you can dream. And you should.)
Super Cell London
Whilst roving around a major city in the UK, I was overwhelmed by the filth, the poverty, the distorted faces, the ground-in misery, the decay and the hopelessness in evidence whichever way you cared to look.
Contrast this with the shining, enthusiastic, clean, efficient, free, beautiful, soaked with hope and promise Internet, where everything is possible, if you can write software or operate a mouse.
Buying things in the streets is a disgusting experience. Not only are people ugly and rude, but the streets themselves are incredibly filthy, with layers of ground in grime from the feet and garbage of millions of residents who leave every type of food and waste behind them like upright slugs trailing dirty slime behind them.
You may be lucky enough to need something from a shop that is clean and neat, and it may even have staff that can speak in a polite manner. When you enter, if you are really lucky, it could even have air conditioning. Even if that is the case, after you have done your business, for which you are robbed of an extra 20% on top of the price you pay for no good reason, you have to return to the pig-filthy streets to get anywhere, and you had to arrive by those same foul streets to get there in the first place, and when you leave, you are burdened with packages.
Contrast this with shopping on the Internet. You click through some beautifully laid out pages, compare and contrast prices from different ‘stores’, read the voluntarily donated opinions of other decent, literate people who are honest and who have your best interests at heart, and then, when you make your decision, you click a button to find that the next day your shoes arrive.
Even then, if you do not like your new shoes, you can return them and get your money back, no questions asked.
The online world is much better than the ‘real world’. It is travelling without moving. It is connecting without effort. It presents a face to you that goes out of its way not to offend you. It is intelligent, cultured, educated, funny, humble, gentle, easy to get on with, inoffensive, useful and entirely beneficial.
What happens when you try and connect these two worlds, to try and bring the benefits of the online world to the ‘real world’? When you try and bridge the gap between the real world and the world that is online, you immediately come up against all the repulsive, ignorant, downtrodden, negative, broken people of ‘society’ and their diseased thinking. Men who have given up on life, or that have never tasted how sweet it can be, or who want to destroy anything that smells of that sweetness.
You come up against a culture where nothing can work, it is expected that nothing should work, where anything new is bad, or a bad risk, or not interesting. You come up against small mindedness, closed mindedness; a disinterest in new things, dull resignation and evil. You come across people whose eyes glaze over when you use words that have more than two syllables, people who have tattoos on their arms of the faces of men they cannot identify.
You hit a brick wall of people who are made of stupid.
You come up against broken people.
As the men who make the world run continue to move everything online, and express everything in software, we will see a very distinct split between those who understand the potential of life and the tools we have to hand, and those who cannot see this potential.
By virtue of their perceptions of what life is and how it can be, the enthusiastic, the productive, the imaginative and the engineers who can write software will essentially inhabit a different culture and live a completely separate life from everyone else, the latter being reduced to a population that exist only to be potential customers, ruthlessly subjected to calculation, so that they can fit inside the business models of The Developers.
Let me make this perfectly clear; there is nothing wrong or immoral about this. Business and the free market are the only way that prosperity can be spread to the maximum number of humans without any ethical violations. My concern, as a man who can empathise with the plight of others, is that there is a huge mass of mankind, inside a country that is ‘civilised’ who are living in a psychological state that can only be described as sub-human in character.
I grieve for these people. I mourn the loss of their thoughts, their vibrance, their input and experience, the loss of colour that is absent from their life. Not everyone can be a millionaire, or a genius, or a world changer, and this is not what I am talking about at all. I am merely talking about simple happiness, sweetness of life, joy, hope, peace of mind, serenity, the ability to think and share these things. What these subjects have instead of these goods is fatigue, worry, bitterness, sadness, and an abundance of fear.
All of these bad elements are the stuff of the syrup that these unfortunates live in and wade through up to the neck every day, and because you cannot reach them, they are doomed to be turned into homo-units, along with their children, grunting screeching and grumbling their way into a vile future of ugliness.
This is what I am talking about when I say that the Internet is starving the streets. All the positive, intelligent, humans are abandoning the ugly streets for the safety of their own homes, some restaurants, perfectly manicured and managed shops like Whole Foods, places like Westfield and so on.
They are using the Internet to connect with each other, to buy from each other, and to completely bypass the ugly streets.
Eventually, the true humans who want to live in ‘real life’, in the room with the blue ceiling as they do on the Internet, will wall themselves off from the ugliness of the world, into giant gated communities, where ugliness is simply not permitted. Think of it as a new form of gentrification without the nasty brainwashing implanted connotations. At the beginning of this process the sectioned off areas will be small in size and number. They will grow in both parameters as the manifest advantages they offer become apparent.
The number of these islands of cleanliness and optimism, once separated by bad areas, will suck in all the connected men, causing them to grow until they touch each other. You would then have a ‘Supercell of Clean’, with a distinct osmotic border separating the inside from the out.
And this is how the breakthrough will happen; in a place where all the enlightened decide to live in a contiguous free space, who decide to contract with each other in a completely voluntarist manner, the end of the State can be brought about by a gentle transition.
Everything in that supercell would be privately owned, including all the streets. It would in effect, become a natural society.
The police stations would be privately run and financed… you know the story, (and if you do not, watch that lecture and then read this); essentially, the State would be completely excluded from operating in this area.
It would go something like this…
Super Cell London
After a massive, historic and unprecedented influx of money and brains, due entirely to the Bitcoin revolution and the collapse of the Dollar and all fiat currency, London became the most wealthy city in the entire world. A 21st Century, “Venice of the Bitcoin Age”.
The suffering of populations living in the other cities of the earth, being chaffed and crushed under the oppressive yokes of their respective States, the universality of the English language and other factors, caused the extraordinary mass migration of capital and human beings.
The demand for services and space caused the prosperous and safe areas of the city to expand rapidly, until there were no more ‘no go’ areas, ghettos, black spots, depressed areas or parts of the city suffering from economic suppression.
It happened almost overnight; like a sudden change in the weather. There was a change in atmosphere, a change in attitude. There was no one left in London who considered that the State mattered any more.
Londoners had for themselves, a clean, efficient, private, happy, free and peaceful city. Everything was done on a voluntary basis. The streets were immaculately clean. The traffic flowed without the sclerotic and unnatural systems of control imposed by the now defunct State.
There were no arbitrary fees collected by ‘Town Councils’ that previously squeezed out small businesses. The oppressive surveillance grid was dismantled. The number of restaurants, coffee shops and all manner of food providers exploded, as there was no longer a state to arbitrarily license, extort and restrict their growth and operation.
Anyone could rent a space, put in a Gaggia and start their own Café, and live on its takings, even if they were meagre, because the owners kept all of the money they collected and did not have to service the State with any of it.
These owners could, for example, live inside their Café, as well as serve food from it; the absurd and distorting ‘zoning’, ‘planning permission’, ‘use classes’ and ‘building regulations’ having been consigned to the dustbin. This meant a massive change in the patterns of how residents lived in the city. The dynamics of renting changed utterly. There was greater availability and dramatically lower rents.
You could eat cheaply. In fact, you can do everything more cheaply in Super Cell London. First of all, everything in “SCL” is 70% cheaper than it is everywhere else, because there is no ‘Value Added Tax’ to pay on anything, and all stealth taxes do not exist. All transactions are two party; the State is not a third party in any financial transaction. These are the effects of the elimination of all the taxes, duties, and thefts of the State.
Oh yes, no one in SCL uses government money. They have their own money, created by private business to serve the needs of all Londoners and the world at large, connected throughout the Internet. (N.B. Does this sound familiar? Bitcoin! this essay was written August 24th, 2011)
Contrary to what the peddlers in negativity, the inhuman Statists and the power drunk socialists predicted, as the nature of this transformation became evident, SCL did not become an armed camp or an unwelcoming, CCTV festooned fortress. The only thing that changed was that the population was happier. They had more money. They had less stress. They were secure in their persons and their papers. They were living like human beings, and not caged animals. This was despite the fact that the population of London had increased dramatically. It was found that without the State distorting everyone’s behaviour, the capacity of London was far greater than anyone had previously imagined.
The abundance of money in the city spontaneously gave birth to the most unprecedented and efficient systems of charity ever created. They were mediated by software. The waste level ran at near zero levels. No one went without dentistry, medicine, emergency care or any of the needs that families have when they fall upon misfortune. Londoners fell over themselves to help others, because they knew that there was no one else there to help the needy but them.
Super Cell London became the envy of the world. It was widely hated. After all, a single city had managed to sequester almost all of the best entrepreneurs and families of the rest of the world’s capitals for itself. These exsanguinated States, when they realised what was happening, initiated capital flow controls and exit visas for all the citizens who were unfortunate enough to be caught in those places and who did not escape in time from those unnatural societies.
In foreign cities where copycat Super Cells were first attempted, there were not enough citizens left to peacefully push out the State. There was retaliation through legislation and violence of course, from the State and its legion of rapacious clients, cronies and parasites, and this further destroyed the economies of those unnatural societies. Eventually they came round, because there was no one left to finance their insane and violent way of life.
Super Cell London, being very much like a biological, living entity, continued to grow, spreading its seeds all over the country. The idea and example of SCL was enough to cause what happened next to happen.
It was only a few years later that a tipping point was reached and the prosperity and liberty of London spilled out, spreading geometrically over all the land. The old State actors, parasites and violent types were not purged or pushed into the sea (a fate that they deserved); they were instead, absorbed into the natural society. Their skills were put to non violent, non coercive uses, and they prospered.
The transformation could not have been more profound or exhilarating. As people had their minds finally unshackled from the disease of Statism, a flowering of a character and on a scale that is difficult to comprehend in 2011 took place, that turned Britain into the engine that saved the entire world.
The State, as an idea was finally dead.
All over the world, like a beneficial plague of light, the State was completely abandoned. The resulting free flow of money, manpower and resources caused a chain reaction of prosperity that wiped away a century of waste in a few short years.
In a house somewhere in a very quiet place in rural England, a young man studies history with his cat for company. He shakes his head in complete disbelief at passages in his book that give an accurate historical account of how men lived, what they thought, and what they tolerated in the first decade of the 21st century.
So shocking, counter-intuitive, bizarre and disgusting are the words he is reading, he suddenly says out loud, “This cannot be true!”
It was true, but it was not true any more. Lucky him!
[Ed. note: This article originally appeared on Beautyon’s Medium page right here at this link.]